Leases private jet in time for SONA
by Nick Giongco
Manny Pacquiao will find himself buckled up for a 15-hour flight to Manila just hours after his world welterweight title fight with Keith Thurman on July 20 in Las Vegas.
The decision to head back to the Philippines stems from the 40-year-old Pacquiao’s pledge to attend the State of the Nation Address on Monday afternoon.
Making it to the 4p.m. affair wouldn’t be possible if Pacquiao elects to go commercial given the distance to be covered and other factors like delays and connecting flights.
There is no direct flight between Manila and Las Vegas although flag-carrier Philippine Airlines used to operate one a few years ago with a Vancouver stopover.
“It’s done,” said Sean Gibbons, who is Pacquiao’s right-hand man, from Los Angeles where they have all been camping out since June 15.
By leaving in the first few hours of Sunday, Pacquiao will land in Manila around lunchtime since the jet he is leasing, a G8, similar to Floyd Mayweather’s globe-trotting plane, has a range of 7,900 nautical miles and a top speed of Mach 0.925 (the speed of sound).
The distance from Las Vegas to Manila is 7,365 nm.
Gibbons, who will stay behind to take care of business matters and attend to the needs of Pacquiao’s entourage, said his boss will be joined by just a few personnel.
In fact, Pacquiao’s wife and five kids, are not joining the trip.
Pacquiao’s move to book a private plane is an indication of his confidence of beating the 30-year-old Thurman handily in their scheduled 12-rounder at the MGM Grand.
It is now up to Thurman to decide if Pacquiao would still opt to proceed with the flight of fancy.